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Woman Gets 10 Years in Prison for Stealing Car with Kids Inside

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A woman who pleaded guilty to stealing a car with two small children inside has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A 38-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to stealing a car with two small children inside has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson sought a sentence of 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, noting the severity of the crimes and the
manner in which the defendant “callously and dangerously abandoned the children.”

Circuit Judge Thomas Mountjoy sentenced Cynthia Brown to 10 years for endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, 10 years for tampering in the first degree and 180 days in the Greene County Jail for leaving the scene of an accident. Probation was denied and the  sentences are to run concurrently, for a total of 10 years in prison.

The incident occurred in March 2013 and resulted in an Amber Alert and a city-wide search for the missing children. Ultimately, both children were recovered in good condition.

According to a news release from Patterson’s office, the children’s father, Jerry Blue, took his children to run errands. He left the children in his vehicle and left the keys in the ignition while he ran into a local grocery store, the statement said.

“Blue was only in the store for a few minutes when he returned to the parking lot to see the defendant enter his vehicle and drive off the lot. Both children were still inside the vehicle.
The defendant was driving erratically and side-swiped a parked car and then left the scene of that accident. She then dropped the toddler off in a residential neighborhood.

The 4-year-old was found approximately 30 minutes after he had been taken. He approached a woman in the 800 block of South Newton and asked if he could stay with her. He told the woman that the defendant had taken him and his sister. He told the witness that the defendant dropped him off but “kept” his sister. That witness immediately alerted the authorities.

The 14-month-old child was located almost seven hours after her brother had been found. She was found in the abandoned car in the parking lot of an apartment complex on West Mount
Vernon Street. Officers who arrived on scene noted that the temperature was only 29 degrees Fahrenheit and that the car was covered in frost. Despite the temperature and the amount of time
she was alone, she was unharmed.

During the investigation, police say they learned Brown was not aware there were children in the vehicle when she stole the car. She discovered the children
in the back seat only after she had driven away from the grocery store.

Brown pleaded guilty to the three charges in November, 2013.  At that time, she was found to be a prior and persistent felony offender with convictions for possession of a controlled
substance and driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years of age.

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